Extra pictures and videos from our tender test

 In December’s Yachting Monthly, we put ten alternatives to the inflatable dinghy through their paces. They were made from everything from plywood to polyester, with lugsails, leeboards and launching wheels. How well did they row, sail and motor? You’ll have to read the article to find out. But here are some bonus photos, videos and suggestions to accompany the feature.

Nesting Dinghies
So what’s the idea behind nesting dinghies? The two halves fit together, taking up less space than a conventional rigid dinghy, but can be reassembled in seconds. Here is the Nestaway Stem dinghy on the foredeck of an Oyster Heritage 37.:

Origami :
This collapsible dinghy looked fragile and we climbed in with some trepidation. It proved stable, but we didn’t try it at this speed! This one was clocked at over 10 knots with a 3.3p outboard…

The Portland Pudgy is billed as the ultimate yacht tender. The price quoted in the article is now incorrect – ?2196 which, at the current exchange rate equates to £1963.

It sails, rows and motors, and can even be converted to act as a lifeboat. It’s pretty indestructible, as this test shows!

The Tinker Tramp that we tested was over fifteen years old, but the company makes the same model, largely unchanged. There’s an active owner’s association, which organises regular meetings.

TheNutshell Pramis a popular home-build project, available in 9’6 or 7’6 versions. We tested the smaller of the two. The plans are available in book form from amazon , and a Google search throws up many hints, tips and guidelines on building this versatile dinghy.

Klepper Aerius II folding kayak

YM championed the cause of the folding kayak back in April. The Klepper is easy to assemble with a little practice, and slips along at a fast pace. She’s not overly practical when it comes to ferrying passengers or gear ashore, but is a delight to explore in. Contrary to popular belief, she’s safe and
stable, inflatable sponsons running down each side providing the necessary stability. She packs down into two bags, barely bigger than an Avon inflatable bag. A sailing rig is available, with optional outrigger – it looks somewhat insane, and isn’t particularly fast. A bracket for an electric outboard is also available, but goes against the grain somewhat.
Verdict: Ideal for exploration, perhaps less practical as a primary tender.
Great fun.

We also tested two rowing/motoring tenders: the Smartwave and a Microboat 900, a Stowaway K2, similar to a Mirror dinghy and a Walker Bay 10. Read the article for our full findings!